YMCA Short Course Nationals Canceled For First Time Since 1947

The 2020 YMCA Short Course National Championships, scheduled for March 30-April 3 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, will be canceled in response to developments in the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

YMCA of the USA staff was informed in an email obtained by SwimSwam that it must cancel all Y-hosted in-person events through April 30, including “trainings, meetings requiring travel, and the national swim championships.”

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Executive leadership has decided to implement policies to reduce the risk to our staff and their families. Regardless of the concern level, it is our social responsibility to help protect vulnerable populations and keep communities strong,” Chief Human Resources Officer Kate Wollensak wrote.

The meet was expected to draw 1,400 swimmers from around the nation. Short Course YMCA national championships have been held yearly since 1923, with the only prior cancelations coming in 1942-45 for World World II, and in 1947.

YMCA Nationals is now the most prominent of a slew of age group-level meets to be canceled Tuesday, which also includes multiple junior Olympic championship meets. There is no word yet on if the upcoming NCAA Championships across all three divisions will be impacted, but notably, Greensboro is also hosting Division III’s meet.

Full email from YMCA of the USA Chief Human Resources Officer Kate Wollensak:

Dear Y-USA staff,

The Executive Team met this morning to discuss continuing developments with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and address the health and safety of all Y-USA staff and their families.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Executive leadership has decided to implement policies to reduce the risk to our staff and their families. Regardless of the concern level, it is our social responsibility to help protect vulnerable populations and keep communities strong.

Effective March 11, all Y-USA staff in both Chicago and DC offices are mandated to work remote through March 27.

We will re-evaluate this policy in the coming weeks and update staff by March 26 if they will be expected to resume working from the office on March 30.

Additionally, Y-USA staff are instructed to:

  • Cancel all business travel through March 27
  • Cancel all Y-USA hosted in-person events through April 30, including trainings, meetings requiring travel, and national swim championships

Note: While NAYDO and State Alliance meetings are not hosted by Y-USA, we are sharing our decision with the organizers to inform their decision-making.

  • Hold off booking any new business travel until further notice

Guidelines for Staff

Thank you in advance for complying with these mandates. Your supervisor will work with you to ensure a smooth transition and help you remain productive under these temporary work conditions. Please review the following tips and work quickly to prioritize any action steps that are needed for your success.

  1. Share your cell phone number with your supervisor and those on your team who may need it on a temporary basis.
  2. Review all upcoming meetings through March 27 and make arrangements to either postpone or convert them to virtual meetings. This may include canceling food orders.
  3. Test your technology today (Skype, Teams, and other virtual tools) to ensure you will be able to work from home uninterrupted. Our IT Service Desk can be reached via email or phone: 312-667-5012.
  4. If you are currently out of the office or on vacation, you will be permitted to access 101 and the DC office to retrieve needed belongings as needed and only for this purpose.
  5. Stay tuned for more information as we work quickly to expand on more action steps and respond to frequently asked questions. Y-USA will continue to use email as our primary method of communicating updates and we will use The Loop to keep the lines of communication open with staff for non-urgent questions or concerns.

A reminder that these decisions were made out of an abundance of caution and not resulting from any specific risk factors here at Y-USA.

If you have immediate questions about these temporary arrangements, please reach out to your supervisor.

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Lyn Wilcher
3 years ago

Just a suggestion….all swimmers who qualified for the 2020 Nationals should be automatically qualified for the 2021 Nationals as long as they are still age eligible. This would be the right thing to do for all of these young athletes.

So confused
3 years ago

How many people does it take to run a meet? Quite a few. Even if the stands are empty there are enough people from the local area Coming in contact with the meet participants and families to spread the virus exponentially. The best way to lower possible mortalities is social distancing. We need responsible decisions right now even if they feel radical.

3 years ago

Some of the comments here can demonstrate why decisions were made to cancel meets. So many people think they’d rather swim sick, or young people have a low risk of being infected or developing a critical condition. Would you expect those same people to refrain from going to the meet or stay away from the crowds if they just have a “mild” cough or fever? Plus the incubation period is up to 14 days. This is not just about you, or young athletes, this is about all the vulnerable people that could potentially be affected and thus overwhelm our healthcare system. Lack of awareness is just as bad as the virus itself.

3 years ago

Connecticut Swimming age group championships were just cancelled. Between that and Y New Englands/YNats being cancelled, there are a LOT of unhappy age group swimmers in Connecticut right now.

3 years ago

J.O.’S at the Rose Bowl In Pasadena, Ca. We’re also canceled.

3 years ago

I’d swim sick idc

Declan Lobdell
3 years ago

Wonder if they are closing state…

Rumor Mill
3 years ago

Last I heard (this morning), the participating teams are going to Greensboro anyway to swim under the USAS sanction.

Interested Party
Reply to  Rumor Mill
3 years ago

Would LOVE more info on this rumor. Is this a viable, DOable thing?

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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